Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Broiler Chicks

The post office called this morning at 6:00 am to say our chicks were here.  They come in a box like this:
 All 100 of them were huddled up, trying to stay warm, I'm sure.  Three of them died on the way here.  It looked like they were on the bottom of the pile and probably sufficated.  Too bad, but the hatchery gives you a few extra in case this happens.
 Here they are in the brooder house.  They perked right up and started eating and drinking.  They are doing well, hopefully it stays that way. 
They're too cute.  The kids love them!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The New Bees Are Here!

We went and picked up the new bees Friday night in Lynnville.  We ordered two 3 lb. packages this year.  This is what the packages look like.  There is a can of sugar syrup in the middle of the box that the bees feed on while being shipped.

Here is a close-up of the bees in the box before installation in the hives.

Here is a frame of honey.  There was quite a bit left over from overwintering our bees last year.  I wish we would have harvested some instead of leaving it all for the bees...who ended up dying anyway.  Bummer.  We went ahead and left them in the hives for the bees to eat.  At least we don't have to feed them while they are getting established.

 Here are the two hives after we installed the bees.  There are always a few left in the box after you shake them in the hive, so we just sat the boxes by the entrance.  They eventually all went into their new home. 

We are hoping for a good year for honey...and that we will keep them alive this time!  Best part of the day...nobody was stung.  Spraying them with sugar syrup helped with that, I'm sure!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Give Away at Homestead Revival

Go check out Homestead Revival (on my sidebar)...they are having a great giveaway...a set of homesteading books from Ashley English (Homemade Living).  They look like great books.  Looks like they are also available on Amazon.com.  I'm going to check them out!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Look At The Size Of That Egg!

We collected 15 eggs this morning and one was JUMBO.  It must be a double yolk (although we haven't cracked it open yet).  We were getting quite a few double yolked eggs last Summer, but haven't gotten one all Winter long.  It barely fits in an egg carton!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Our chicken pen suffered it's first attack the other night and I'm happy to say it withstood the assult.  We are thinking it was probably a racoon, maybe a opposum.  The first picture shows how it tried to dig under the pen, but gave up.

In this picture (if you look closely) you can see how it tried pulling on the chicken wire. 

Whatever it was hasn't been back since, but I am sure it will probably try again.  I'm thinking a dog may help this situation.  We looked into nocturnal watch dogs for the farm and it seems Great Pyrenees tops the list.  Any other ideas?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chicken Runs Finished

I think I have shown a picture of this run before, only difference is that we've added wheels to make it easier to move (which we do daily).

 Here are the laying hens, probably hoping for a treat, which they didn't get this time.  Sorry girls.

This is the newest run that is holding our 50 chicks, which aren't really chicks anymore, they are growing like crazy.  This run gets moved daily as well, so the chickens are always on fresh pasture.  We'll have to make another one of these later when the chickens are full size (25 per run).  Troy also made a waterer out of PVC pipe and nipple waterers. He just pours the water inside the white bucket on top of the run, and it fills the pipe.  The chickens always have access to clean water, and no dirty waterers to wash and fill up all of the time!

Here is a pic of the chicks taken today.  I think they may have been looking for treats too!  Sorry girls (again). 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Potatoes Here, Some Onions Planted...

The potatoes we ordered from Wood Prairie Farm arrived this week.  The varieties are Cranberry Red, King Harry, and All-Blue.  I love the packaging they use...kind of vintage looking.  They also included a free package of organic sweet corn that is an open pollinated variety...excited to try it.  We'll also be planting a russet variety of potato and more reds for new potatoes.

We started planting the onions today... only got 3 bunches done, but will plant more tomorrow afternoon (hopefully) if this rain holds off.  Troy is working on building a chicken run/house and waterer...I'll post more pics of those when he's done.  Spring is here and the farm is getting busy!